You may wonder why I was able to attend BGG.con, when early this year, I had already decided that I wouldn’t/couldn’t. Well, it turned out at a fairly last minute a spot opened up for me thanks to an old friend. (Thanks JM)
So, I decided to follow the MO I’ve been using for cons lately, the one that lets you only take the days of the con off, but still get a good bit of gaming on that first day. So I took off work Thursday & Friday, and was going to get up at 2:00 to head out the Dallas, TX.
Woke up right at about 2:00, and was on the road by 2:30. It was also my first road trip with the Stang. So I was kind of stoked about that. But I’ve discovered at least on the way there, I might want some sort of Lumbar support, as the seat started hurting my back after a while.
After arriving in Dallas around 10:30, I used my phone to try to find the new hotel. After being unsuccessful until noon, I called the hotel, and figured out it was on Airport grounds. Should have paid closer attention to that before I left.
First of all I want to state I had no gameplay goals for the con at all. I am more interested in socializing with old friends, than making sure I play certain games. As such, my playlist is kind of sparse.
I had intended to get in and settle for a bit, maybe take a short nap from all the driving and little sleep the night before so that I could be fresh before my first scheduled game of the con. Because of the delay finding the hotel, this was not possible, and right off the bat, ended up sitting down and teaching a game of Die Macher. If you know me at all you know I love this game. I had a little trouble teaching (Thanks to the players for being understanding) and my rules were kind of sporadic mainly due to drowsiness. I didn’t do so hot and actually ended up in third or fourth, but it was a 40 pt swing from first to fifth, and only a 4 point swing from third to fifth. I think everyone enjoyed it.
We went to dinner with most of the other werewolf crew shortly after that. We spent a lot of time socializing and talking. And when returning to the hotel, I mainly wandered around looking at the layout etc. I went back to ‘Werewolf Hollow’ and played a game there before getting up and wandering a bit more and turning a few games down because of sleepiness. I went to bed at midnight.
Woke up fairly early Friday morning and decided to hit the gym for a run. Not too long, only about 3.5 miles, but enough to help me feel refreshed for my first full day at the con.
After showering and cleaning up, and heading out to find some breakfast, I came back and found some of the werewolfers also with an early start to the day. I rounded up five and managed to get them into a game of my hybrid copy of Battlestar Galactica. (I don’t like the expansions, but I do add a couple of minor things from the Pegasus expansion.
Now again, that’s not a new game, so no real thoughts on it. I enjoyed it and I think the others did too, there were a couple of new players. The game was really close and came down to the wire, and in the end, we (I was a human) ended up having to take a 50/50 die roll shot to win the game, otherwise we were going to lose to JV and KS on the next turn. Unfortunately, we lost, and conceded the game to the toasters because we had no population left.
I had to work my library shift on Friday afternoon, and so, after BSG I wandered around the dealer room a bit but couldn’t commit to any games. Went to the library at 3:00 to begin my 2hr library shift. It’s always a fun time, you get to meet new people, and have fun chatting and joking about the games people are checking in and out, and in general figure out what people are playing or are interested in.
It’s also how I found myself in my first new game of the con. After our shift someone checked in Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar Game. It was an interesting worker placement game where the board had these gears where you could place your workers and they would move on the gears to later areas. The timing was important, because you could pay money to put them close to the powerful spaces early, or you could put them on the cheap spaces, and let the gears move them to the powerful spaces, but it took longer. It was an interesting idea, and was executed very well. But in the end, still typical worker placement translated into victory points.
After the Mayan Calendar game thing, it was time to renew my bid to become BGG.con poker champion. I’ve played in this tournament every year I’ve been to BGG.con, which I just figured out is all but the first year, and last year. I have a decent track record.
- 2006 – 11th (I was the final bust out before the final table, got nothing for it)
- 2007 – Out in 1st hour (I was upset from the year before because I played for four hours and got nothing out of it, I decided to go all in or bust in 2007 to ensure I ended early.)
- 2008 – Out in 3nd hour (After a misguided idea about the poker tournament in the first two years, I decided to try my best again, I made it over halfway, but was still out sometime in the third hour)
- 2009 – Final Table (9th) (Played some pretty good poker, but was short stacked most of the tournament, rode the short stack and played smart into the Final table, but didn’t have many bullets to do anything and busted out in 9th.
- 2010 – Out in 2nd Hour (Again, decided I would play hard, but sometimes the cards don’t cooperate with you, busted out literally just before the first break.)
- 2011 – Missed BGG.con
- 2012 – Ahh, so 2012, I decided to play hard, but started on a pretty tough table where nobody played poorly and busted out and chips were tough to come by. By the time of the first break, I was on a short stack and wasn’t sure I’d make it very long after that. After the break, some people finally started busting out of our table, and bringing some fresh chips in, a couple of good hands, and a couple of good betting moves with not so good hands let me build my stack up a little bit and I worked my stack hard trying to make good decisions as the field dwindled to about 20. I had about 17,000 chips when I got an AJ and put in a bet of 3k (with 500, 1k blinds), and got one caller behind me going to the flop, The flop dropped KK2 and I pushed and was Instacalled, which I knew meant I was doomed as the caller had KQ. I had him covered though and survived with about 7k in chips. I built that 7k back up to about 20k carefully and slowly and with one double up (I pushed with AT caller behind had A4, and my hand held) and rode a short stack into the final table. I played conservatively on the final table, but was short stacked and waited for cards, got an AT and pushed, but was up against a caller with AA which spelled my final doom. I finished in 7th. I got another set of Copag cards just like I got in 2009.
I ended Friday with a game of werewolf before going to bed, as it was around 1:30 when I busted out of poker anyway.
I woke up early Saturday morning as I had scheduled to be a seller in the Flea Market. I found a table spot and managed to move almost all of the stuff I had brought. I held my self though and didn’t really pick up anything except one I had kind of been looking for.
Surburbia was interesting, but I was kind of zonked out, and we were in the darkest corner of the hot games room. I zoned out a bit during the rules explanation, but it seemed fairly straightforward. It is a tile ‘auction’ type game where you are building a city competing with the others on the table a la ‘Simcity’ computer game. But it’s not really solitaire, because you have these goals you are working towards and things your opponent places in his city can affect the income and reputation levels of your city. It was interesting, but I’m not sure if I liked it or not, thinking back, I think I did. I definitely liked it better than the Mayan calendar thing.
After Suburbia, I took about 5 hours to go up to the room and relax a bit and watch the Ole Miss vs LSU game. This isn’t a football blog post, but the Rebels almost pulled off an amazing upset. Two bad turnovers and a horrible breakdown in punt coverage sealed their fate though.
After the game I went down to the werewolf rooms where some friends were setting up A Game of Thrones, it had been years since I played the game, and they said they were going to learn and had someone coming to teach them and needed a fifth, so I joined. When their teacher came, I recognized him as someone I had played with in 2007 when he ran over the whole board with his army which he called the ‘8th Panzer Division’ I was Tyrell, with my AM and RK playing Lannister and Greyjoy respectively. The 8th panzer guy was Stark, and his friend was Baratheon. My play started out being biased against Stark for the first part of the game, although trying to set up a truce line with Baratheon didn’t gain any traction and I was chased from my starting area and down to a hurt level early. After that I used my limited resources to work with my werewolf friends in any way to ensure that one of them would win rather than the person that pushed me to the edge of defeat. In the end Lannister one in Turn 6 with 7 castles.
I ended Saturday playing several games of werewolf and a couple of games of Telestrations, before heading to bed at around 4:00.
I didn’t intend to do much Sunday, I woke up and packed and was going to head out fairly early, but wanted to pick something up in the Dealer room before I left. It didn’t open till 10 so I hung out until around that time and went in.
While making a last swing, I decided to sit down and try Escape: The Curse of the Temple as I heard it was very fun and only took 10 minutes to play. After a brief rules explanation, we gave it a shot, and sure enough, I had a good time playing it. It’s very light, and very luck based with only a few decisions, but it’s frantic, played by everyone simultaneously, and requires pretty good teamwork to overcome the games obstacles. I’m not sure if the game has any lasting power, but I was entertained in my one game of it.
After that I headed out, and headed home.
Then I went to bed.